After the Wedding

Rated R 2007

A reformist disciple of Dogme, director Susanne Bier (Open Hearts, Brothers) here caps her post-9/11 trauma trilogy with a movie that has less to do with a terrorizing event -- a bad breakup, in this case -- than with that event's collateral damage, namely trust. Still licking his heart's wounds after 20 years, Jacob (Mads Mikkelsen) works at an orphanage in Bombay and vows never to return to Copenhagen, scene of the romantic crime. Muscular, oddly handsome, funny, and adoring of children, Jacob is introduced scooping rice for hordes of young Indian kids. Will we ever learn what kind of woman would dream of dumping this veritable saint? Coincidence, the mistress of melodrama, comes calling: Jacob gets an invitation from a Danish CEO to apply for charitable funds that could get his orphanage the supplies it sorely needs, but only on condition that he fly to Copenhagen for a personal meeting. As before, Bier dares you to deem her work absurd; here, she also forces us to recognize that we wouldn't blindly trust a movie's good Samaritanism any more than Jacob would believe in pennies from heaven. And no wonder: We've all been burned. But After the Wedding is a gift. Bier is like Douglas Sirk reborn as a digital neorealist, and the riveting Mikkelsen displays the self-conscious jitter of the young Pacino.

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After the Wedding

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